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Ron Kaye: LaBonge should retire


LaBonge supporter, Jan. 2009


Citizen activist Ron Kaye makes the case why CD 4 Councilman Tom Labonge should retire.

His colleagues snicker when he rises to speak, smirk when he strings together the disjointed thoughts that pour out of him, the remembrances of the good old days when Tom Bradley was mayor and John Ferraro stood like a tall protective oak over City Hall and Gil Lindsay did his business under that canopy of shade.

Two younger men --Stephen Box and Tomas O'Grady -- are both far more capable than Tom of representing Council District 4 and standing up for the whole city...

&c. Kaye's organization Clean Sweep, suddenly looking more formidable than it was even a week ago, has endorsed Box in the race. Tomas O'Grady, who we have to admit has impressed us even more than Box in our sit-down with the candidate, has made considerable inroads in LaBonge's own home turf of Los Feliz.

Meanwhile, LaBonge appeals to the kind of people whose biggest concern in life is keeping Billy the Elephant penned up in unnatural, depression-inducing captivity at the LA Zoo, spending $42 million to do so in the runup to the City's financial crisis.

Whether the Times says so or not, it is indeed a race, and to me, this is the most likely one to produce a runoff.

One of the reasons we are not optimistic about Box's candidacy--though believe it is playing a key factor in the dynamics of the three-way race--is that the candidate has not yet found a way to reach homeowners, who still rule the roost in CD 4. O'Grady, who knows school issues and community relations far better than Box--the cyclist-insurgent--has broader appeal to homeowners.

But in a three-way, anything is possible--even including Box and O'Grady finishing 1-2 for a runoff, leaving the Councilman opting for an early retirement.